Social Emotional Learning

What Is Social-Emotional Learning?

Social-emotional learning (SEL) describes the mindsets, skills, attitudes, and feelings that help students succeed in school, career, and life. It focuses on how motivation, social connectedness, and self control enable every student to learn and thrive.

Building Social-Emotional Learning Competencies

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) framework addresses five social-emotional learning competencies:

  • Self-awareness: the ability to recognize one’s strengths and limitations with a sense of confidence and purpose
  • Self-management: the ability to manage one’s feelings and behavior, including handling stress
  • Social awareness: the ability to understand the perspectives of others, including those from diverse backgrounds
  • Relationship skills: the ability to communicate clearly, listen actively, and work collaboratively to problem solve
  • Responsible decision-making: the ability to evaluate the benefits and consequences of various actions
For the full definition of SEL and to learn more about the fundamentals of SEL from CASEL, click here.
Benefits of SEL

Benefits of Social-Emotional Learning for Students: 

  • Increased academic achievement
  • Increased graduation rates
  • Improved college and career readiness
  • Increased positive social behaviors
  • Decreased behavior issues, such as bullying
  • Better ability to manage stress
  • Better ability to manage depression
  • Better attitudes about themselves, others, and school
3 SEL Signature Practices

What are the SEL 3 Signature Practices?

  1. Welcoming Inclusion Activities, Routines or Rituals
  2.  Engaging Strategies
  3.  Optimistic Closures

When teachers include the CASEL SEL 3 Signature Practices in every class meeting,  they create a climate and culture of safety, inclusion and belonging and support strong, effective learning environments.  

While not an SEL curriculum, the SEL 3 signature practices intentionally and explicitly help build a habit of practices through which students and adults enhance their SEL skills. 

SEL in the Classroom

SEL-focused classrooms often include three components: a supportive classroom climate, integration of SEL into academic instruction, and explicit SEL instruction. An evidence-based program can support one or more of these areas.

  • A supportive classroom climate helps students to feel emotionally safe, part of a community of learners, motivated, and challenged. This type of environment creates a strong foundation for students to engage fully and take academic risks. This includes: community-building, belonging and emotional safety, and student-centered discipline.

  • Integration of SEL into academic instruction weaves academic learning with opportunities for students to practice and reflect on social and emotional competencies, such as perspective-taking and developing a growth mindset. For example, teachers might incorporate partner and group activities that promote relationships, communication skills, and effective teamwork.

  • Explicit SEL instruction provides consistent opportunities to cultivate, practice, and reflect on social and emotional competencies in ways that are developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive.

Source: CASEL - SEL in the Classroom